Retail Work: Jobs Beyond the Register

Where you work makes all the difference in your retail job

While the benefits of a retail job are apparent to some people from the start (hello employee discounts!), other people don't get the appeal. Whether you've had a sour experience in the retail industry or just never considered it before, where you work can really change your job. While cashier, stock clerk and customer service positions are available in almost all retail locations, your job experience will vary greatly between employers. Let's take a look at how retail environment affects your job experience.

Grocery Stores

High school students, retirees and everyone in between enjoy the flexible hours and convenient locations that grocery stores offer. Employees will often need to work holidays and weekends, but some grocers close early on select holidays to let their workers celebrate with their families.


 If you are a speed-demon, don't mind standing and have a head for numbers, you'll make a great grocery store cashier. While the register will do most of the calculations, you will need to memorize codes for just about everything in the produce section (we'll get you started, bananas are 4011). Most places will have a reference somewhere, but pros have the numbers ready so they don't hold up the checkout line.

Stock Clerk: 

If you don't mind being on your feet but you'd rather deal with potatoes than people, consider a grocery stock clerk position. Grocery clerk jobs are different from other retail stock clerks because a significant portion of the stock is perishable and delicate. You may have to point the occasional shopper in the direction of the Dijon mustard, but you'll spend more time with dealing with stock than service.

Customer Service: 

Are you are a passionate problem solver? Grocery store customer service jobs include managing returns, merchandise exchanges and feedback like most retail customer service positions, but they also include sales of certain items like cigarettes, lotto tickets, money orders, stamps and more.

Retail Stores

Retail stores sell anything: home improvement supplies, fashion, household goods and more. They are often conveniently located and have a number of shifts to select from.


Being a retail cashier is almost identical to being a grocery store cashier with two critical differences: you don't need to memorize produce codes and you don't have to worry about crushing the eggs while you're bagging (unless your employer has a grocery section as well, then all bets are off).

Stock Clerk: 

Retail stock clerks unload delivery trucks and move merchandise from stock storage to the sales floor. If you land this job you can forget that gym membership; all that lifting and carrying will keep you in shape while you keep your employer happy.

Customer Service: 

Retail customer service representatives deal with returns, exchanges, resolving complaints and making sure that returned stock gets organized for return to the manufacturer or the sales floor.

Specialty Stores

Comic shops, pet stores, jewelry sellers, book stores... If you have a hobby or interest, there's a store that caters to your passion (and we'd wager you already know where it is). Just imagine how great that employee discount can be when you apply it to something that already eats up your disposable income! In smaller stores you may be covering cashiering, stocking and customer service all in one job. We don't need comic books, puppies or diamond tennis bracelets to survive (technically), so specialty shops usually have fewer locations than generalized retail stores, which may mean you have to travel farther to work.

If you've been passing on retail jobs because you think they're all the same, you could be missing out on the perfect job. Whether you are looking for something close to home with flexible hours or something that caters to your interests, retail might be selling exactly what you're looking for.

Amy Culver |
Amy is our Lead Copywriter at Snagajob, where she loves to use her word nerd powers to help workers and employers connect. Her first hourly job was as a cashier at Chick-fil-a.